Opportunities for pedagogical change in Turkish medical education revealed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Kartoglu U., TURAN S., Ergör A., ASLAN D., Erişgen G., Fındık D., ...More

Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10401334.2023.2226659
  • Journal Name: Teaching and Learning in Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: active learning, COVID-19, Medical education, online learning
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Phenomenon: As the first stage of a large-scale educational design research (EDR) study focused on the complex problem of providing authentic experiential “hands-on, minds-in” learning opportunities online during a pandemic or other exigency, we conducted a literature review and we interviewed Turkish academic staff and students about their experiences during the first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic. ApproachWe interviewed faculty members, faculty members of medical education departments, and medical students from both public and private medical schools in Türkiye between October 1 and December 31, 2020. Working in pairs, we analyzed the transcripts of 49 interviews using open qualitative coding methods with satisfactory levels of coefficients of agreement. FindingsWe defined six major themes from the qualitative analysis: 1) Fear and concern were the most common reactions when first encountering the pandemic; 2) Teaching methods during the pandemic were primarily unidirectional from faculty to students. This largely one way transmission of information occurred both synchronously and asynchronously; 3) Technological support during the pandemic shutdowns was found to be challenging for both faculties and students; 4) Evaluation of learning during the pandemic was opportunistic and had questionable rigor; 5) Healthy communication was valued by both faculty and students using an array of different tools including social media; and 6) The pandemic had both negative and positive impacts on the educational processes experienced by students and provided by faculty and resulted in recommendations for new approaches to teaching and learning in the future. Medical students were primarily concerned about the susceptibility to COVID-19 of themselves and others, and how the pandemic would affect their progress toward completing their studies. Faculty were primarily concerned about the capacity of online learning to provide clinical learning opportunities and the difficulties of assessing student clinical skills using online modalities. Medical education specialists were primarily concerned about the quality of educational opportunities offered online. InsightsOur findings were similar to other studies conducted in the USA, China, United Kingdom, and other countries. However, the interviews revealed interest among faculty and medical education specialists for further investigation of experiential or active learning models that could be applied in medical education regardless of whether the delivery mode is face-to-face, online, or most likely, blended. In the next stage of our larger scale EDR study, we will design and construct prototype learning environments that incorporate experiential, active, and authentic learning design principles.